This post is sponsored by PEL LLC.
The health care industry is moving more toward more personalized care, and this is especially true for orthotics and prosthetics. In this post, we hear from Mike Sotak, president and CEO Of PEL LLC, about how practitioners can create a trusting relationship with patients through the products they offer.
Question: Providing orthotic and prosthetic devices for patients is a personalized process. How can practitioners create trust and confidence with patients to ensure the best outcomes for their devices?
Mike Sotak: Each O&P patient is truly unique, and O&P practitioners need to be especially skilled at soliciting feedback on how their proposed solutions are working for patients. The ability to listen and make solution adjustments is a real art. Patient trust and confidence grow when practitioners are able to act on patient feedback to make a good solution even better. We have great empathy and respect for the practitioners, as we know that many potential product combinations are available for delivering the best patient solution.
Q: How can O&P suppliers help practitioners create stronger relationships with patients?
MS: A strong practitioner-patient relationship is founded on the skill of the practitioner to quickly provide a workable solution for the patient. Our role is to have the products they want when they need them. We believe it is important that we win the confidence and trust of practitioners based on a track record of fair pricing and high order-fill rates. When O&P practitioners trust their supplier, it frees up human resources to focus on satisfying patient needs.
Q: How can suppliers draw on the expertise and experiences of orthotists and prosthetists to determine which products to offer?
MS: We offer more than 200,000 stock-keeping units to achieve high service levels for our O&P practitioners. Having the right parts on hand requires careful tracking of practitioner purchase habits and product preferences. PEL uses sophisticated order data analysis to forecast inventory needs and identify highest-demand items to be stocked. This has allowed PEL to achieve more than 97% same-day fulfillment of those stocked items.
Q: Big changes in technology, as well as health care laws and regulations, have changed the O&P landscape. What do you think will have the biggest impact on O&P in the coming year? How can companies and practitioners prepare?
MS: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) continues to work to standardize O&P solutions. Solution uniformity is considered important to controlling health care costs. Whether the CMS will institute new guidelines this year is hard to know. Although more standardized, uniform solutions would make order fulfillment easier, meeting individual patient needs would not likely be possible. Our job is to pay careful attention to order details and identify purchase patterns so we have the right products when practitioners need them. It is more difficult for practitioners to prepare. They will have the difficult task of applying standardized solutions without compromising the quality of patient outcomes.